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Mandarins continue to monopolize citrus category
California is in the middle of its mandarin season; conditions and quality are looking good. Heirloom navel oranges are showing increased business in select markets. Consumers seem to be expressing increased interest in US grown mandarins and navel oranges as well as kiwi on a global scale, allowing the fruit to compete on the global market against other producing countries.
"California mandarins are driving the citrus category and quality has been excellent with very good shelf off-take and consumption,” says Howard Nager of Sun Pacific’s Cuties brand. He notes that the Valley has experienced ideal growing conditions, which have improved quality. “Supply has been consistent and promotional opportunities have been available. The season continues to look promising. We consistently focus on our products being grown in California as domestic product is very well received."
Sun Pacific’s heirloom navel oranges are grown on 100-year-old trees and, branded as Vintage Sweets. Nager says the program is in its fourth year of sales and continues to expand. Kiwi is one of their other strong commodities. “We’re seeing most of the growth in the 2 lb. clamshell,” says Nager; it also comes with a handy ‘spife’ to help educate consumers on how easy kiwis are to eat. Sun Pacific will be showcasing many new grape varieties for the upcoming California season, as well as mandarins and kiwis.
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